Policy Governance Framework

The Mount Mansfield Unified Union School Board governs our schools through Policy Governance. This framework enables the School Board to focus on the goals we have for our students and our school district; it removes us from managing the day-to-day activities in our schools. Through Policy Governance, the Board provides oversight, guidance, and limitations to school administrators through written policies. We do provide direct management of financial planning and negotiations with the union. The Board will continue to function as a quasi-judicial body when required by law.

Our Finance Committee reviews monthly bills, develops an annual budget, and builds long-range financial plans. The most obvious work of this committee is the budget. To develop the annual budget the committee sets the financial goals necessary to achieve our educational priorities while minimizing expenditures. This committee considers input from the central office administration, administrators from each school, and community members.

The Negotiations Committee meets with the administration and our attorney to make and respond to proposals from representatives for teachers and support staff. The Board takes responsibility for negotiating contracts that meet the needs of our students, taxpayers, and employees.

Our Community Engagement Committee reaches out to members of the community and seeks input as we periodically revise our goals. To develop appropriate policies, it is imperative that all board members understand the values of our community. We continue to reach out to town select boards and parent organizations, and we conduct surveys of community members and students.

The school board’s direct management of the school district is limited to finance and negotiations. We govern other aspects through policies that define our goals (Ends Policies), that place restrictions on what the Superintendent is allowed to do (Executive Limitations), and that define how we act as a Board (Governance Policies). The Superintendent will make decisions such as personnel and required policy. For example, when hiring a principal the Superintendent will continue to form a hiring committee with representation from the school board, parents, and teachers, and the Superintendent will make the final hiring selection. We also require the Superintendent maintain state and federal mandated policies (e.g. smoking is not allowed in school). The board will be informed, but not directly involved, in these management duties.

The Board encourages individual conversations outside of board meetings and welcomes public comment at board meetings. In the past, some school boards took immediate action as a result of public comment at board meetings. Under Policy Governance, the Board will listen to the issues raised by the public and may choose to revise policies as a direct response to public comment. We monitor the Superintendent’s performance, and response to public concerns, through regular reports.

We believe it is in the best interest of the schools to put limitations on the Superintendent, yet fully empower them to make management decisions. Policy Governance is the mechanism chosen by the Board to enable the Superintendent to manage the Mount Mansfield Unified Union School District through policy. The job of the Board is to develop financially sound policy that ensures students are engaged, effective citizens.

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